Sunday, June 13, 2004

The Blueberries Are Coming! The Blueberries Are Coming!

I’ve lived in my house for going on 20 years now. Not long after I moved in I purchased a blueberry bush and planted it in my backyard. It’s pretty fuzzy now, but as I recall the place where I bought it had only one and it wasn’t labeled with the variety, instructions, or anything except possibly “Blueberry Bush”. It may not have even said that - I think it had a few berries on it, so it was pretty obvious what it was.

The first few years didn’t yield many berries for me. The birds had a nice snack, but I seldom got more than a handful. The amazing thing was that my bush did bear fruit. I had always been under the impression that blueberries required cross-pollination. Either that’s not true, or there are other blueberries in the neighborhood.

My bush got bigger every year, but it wasn’t until I discovered bird netting that I had blueberries in abundance. After I started using the netting, I would pick up to 20 pounds a year! They usually come in June and July for a period of about a month. They keep well in the refrigerator, so I have them for almost 2 months in the summer. Every year I marvel at the fact that for next to no effort I have all these blueberries – it truly is a gift. The hardest part is picking them. No, actually the hardest part is putting that netting on. In fact, I’m not sure I’ll be able to put it on this year. Last year, I gave up on it after my first picking because the bush has gotten too big to completely enclose in the netting. And if you don’t completely enclose it, you might as well leave it off because those birds will find a way in. They seem to have a harder time finding their way out.

ripening blueberries 

my blueberry bush - no netting yet 

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